USS Lake Erie ships out to Asia

Published On: Feb 18 2014 07:28:45 PM HST   Updated On: Feb 18 2014 07:34:07 PM HST

Sailors aboard the USS Lake Erie said goodbye to family and friends Tuesday as the ship left for a mission in the western Pacific Ocean.

Click here to watch Ashley Moser's report.

Military spouses know the drill, but that doesn't mean they have to like it.

More than 350 military personnel left Pearl Harbor on Tuesday aboard the guided-missile cruiser.

The USS Lake Erie will be back in the islands in August before making it's final trip to San Diego. It will replace the John Paul Jones as a rotational ballistic missile Defense destroyer.

It's a time that families say is too long to be apart.

"You can't ever really deal with it. I think you're more just coping with it and learning to go day by day, as hard as it is," said Megan Gallman, the wife of a deployed sailor.

Navy officials said that while deployed, sailors will work with partner nations to promote peace and security.

The USS Lake Erie will conduct security operations and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

But for some mothers, explaining to their children why daddy is leaving can be heartbreaking.

"Being a military wife ... you have to learn to be independent but married at the same time," Gallman said," which is different for most marriages because you can't always be there with them when you want to be."

Families say they found out about the mission more than a month ago but that the advance notice doesn't make it any easier.

"You get used to it after a while, especially after you've got through, what, four deployments," said wife Kasie Cook.

"You have to understand, every day you don't know when they're going to leave. Because there's always a change. They can just go and do something else and they immediately have to be there," said Gallman.


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